Saturday, May 2, 2020
Pashtun leader Arif Wazir dies in Pakistan after gun attack, ISI using COVID-19 as garb to silence criticism against country
The attack comes after Pakistani Police arrested Arif Wazir on April 17 for an alleged anti-Pakistan speech during his recent visit to Afghanistan.
The attack comes after Pakistani Police arrested Arif Wazir on April 17 for an alleged anti-Pakistan speech during his recent visit to Afghanistan. He was released on bail three days ago. Mohsin Dawar, a member of Pakistan's Parliament and member of the PTM, accused “state-sponsored terrorists” of carrying out the attack.
Rights group Amnesty International in a statement said that the Pakistani authorities must carry out an independent and effective investigation into the attack on Wazir on May 1, adding that the suspected perpetrators must be held accountable.
PTM has campaigned for civil rights for Pashtuns, the country's largest ethnic minority, since 2018 and held many rallies recently against the involvement of Pakistan Army for killing of thousands of Pashtun civilians and forced millions more to abandon their homes. The PTM has insisted on an end to the practice of extrajudicial killings and unlawful detentions of Pashtun people.
‘‘It is with the heavy heart I report that our comrade Arif Wazir has succumbed to his injuries. Wazir’s father and brother were killed by terrorists years ago. Our struggle against their masters will continue," said Mohin Dawar, a member of Pakistan’s parliament.
Pakistan based journalist and Balooch origin Sajid Hussain living in Sweden in exile has been found dead in Uppsala about 60 kilometres from Stockholm, Sweden. His body was found on April 23 in the Fyris river outside Uppsala city. A Balochi by origin, Hussain was working as a part-time professor in Uppsala when he went missing since the first week of March.
His sudden disappearance is raised many questions as many believed that at a time when the world needs attention to deal with the coronavirus COVID-19, the Pakistani Army and Pakistan's Intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is busy in silencing critics of Pakistan.
Hussain fled to Sweden in 2012 when Pakistan agencies started to search his residence and questioned his family members after his report highlighting human right abuses in the Balochistan by Pakistan Army. Hussain first moved to Gulf countries then after some time he finally settled in Sweden.
‘‘When a new wave of the “kill and dump policy” came about, and the issue of enforced disappearances once again engulfed Pakistan’s restive province of Balochistan, Hussain had to flee the country in 2012. For many years after that, he lived like a nomad, a refugee, spending some time in one country and then moving to another. It was not an easy decision, leaving behind his friends and family back home – his wife, 9-year-old daughter, and 5-year-old son, whom he loved dearly," says Shah Meer Balooch in an article written in The Diplomat.
Sajid Hussain is not alone. There has been a spate of attacks of Pakistani journalists and activists known for criticizing Pakistan. A Pakistani blogger Ahmad Waqas was assaulted by two men outside his home in Rotterdam in Europe in February.
Criticism of the Pak Army and ISI is not allowed in Pakistan and unprecedented crackdown at press has forced many to seek refugee abroad.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) latest report observed that Pakistan’s human rights record in 2019 is ‘greatly worrisome and ongoing global pandemic was likely to cast a long shadow on prospects for human rights. HRCP in his report also noted of police extortion, refusal to register first information reports (FIR), and custodial torture emerged in all provinces.A report of USA Freedom Network on Press freedom reveals that since 2000 a total of 133 Pakistani journalists have been killed. The legal proceedings in all the 33 incidents of journalists’ killings that took place from 2013 to 2019 have been documented and the finding is 100 per cent impunity for the killers, zero per cent justice for the 33 murdered journalists.
A Pakistani-British journalist Gul Bukhari known for a critic of Pakistani Army was abducted in June 2018 from Lahore and held for several hours by Pakistani Army. Later they denied their involvement in the abduction of Bukhari. She was asked to appear before authorities for questioning. She left Pakistan and now has settled in the United Kingdom.
Pakistan has become one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists. In the past few years, dozens of prominent journalists have been forced to left their organization or they are not allowed to write articles against the Pakistani Army.
حکومت میں آنے کے بعد سابق وزیراعظم شہید محترمہ بینظیر بھٹو کی جانب سے اٹھائے گئے اولین اقدامات میں سے ایک ان تمام آمرانہ کالے قوانین کا خاتمہ کرنا تھا، جو صحافت پر قدغنیں لگانے کی خاطر بنائے گئے تھے۔ پی پی پی چیئرمین نے کہا کہ تحریک انصاف کی حکومت پہلے ہی دن سے میڈیا کی آزادی پر حملے کر رہی ہے۔ اس کے ناقدین کے ٹی وی شوز زبردستی بند کردیئے گئے جبکہ دیگر کو نکال دیا گیا۔ جن پر ریاست مہربان ہے، ان کو اپوزیشن کی جانب سے عوام کی خدمت کے لیئے اٹھائے گئے کام و کاوشوں کی برائی کرنے کے لیئے پروپیگنڈہ کے ہتھیاروں کے طور پر استعمال کیا جا رہا ہے۔ بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے اس عزم کا اعادہ کیا کہ پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی صحافی برادری کے ساتھ مل کر صحافت کی آزادی، صحافی برادری کے تحفظ اور ان کے پیشے کے تقدس کے لیئے جدوجہد جاری رکھے گی۔
By KATHY GANNON
An annual human rights report released this week gives Pakistan a failing grade, charging that too little is being done to protect the country’s most vulnerable, including women and children.
An annual human rights report released this week gives Pakistan a failing grade, charging that too little is being done to protect the country’s most vulnerable, including women and children.
The 264-page report by the Independent Pakistan Human Rights Commission laid out a litany of human rights failings. They include unabated honor killings, forced conversions of minority Hindu under-age girls and continued use of a blasphemy law that carries the death penalty to intimidate and settle scores.
In December, Pakistan was ranked 151st out of 153 by the World Economic Forum on the Global Gender Gap Index.
“Despite the legislation enacted to protect and promote women’s rights in recent years, violence against women has escalated,” the report released Thursday said.
It also criticizes increased restrictions on media freedom and criticism of state institutions and a growing number of cases of sexual and physical abuse of children.
There was no immediate comment from the government.
Pakistan has been slow to enact laws to protect the country’s most vulnerable and even where laws are in place they are often not enforced by police. Law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are often corrupt or refuse to take the word of a woman over a man in Pakistan’s deeply male-dominated society. In April, a powerful cleric who has the ear of the prime minister blamed the global coronavirus pandemic on women who dress immodestly.
Social media outrage greeted cleric Tariq Jameel after he blamed women, particularly young women who “choose the path of indecency and ... vulgarity,” for the coronavirus pandemic. His charges were made during a live TV fundraising drive to feed Pakistan’s poorest hurt by a weeks-long lock-down to stem the virus’s spread. Jameel also shamed girls for dancing and wearing “skimpy clothing.”
Jameel, who did not rescind his remarks, later said he was addressing the failings of the “collective” society.
Pakistan on Friday recorded 16,817 positive cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, with 385 deaths. Pakistan also recorded its largest single day hike in positive cases with 990 new infections. However, Pakistan has also increased its testing to around 8,000 per day, considerably less than the 20,000 daily target the government has promised. “The weakest segments of society remained invisible, unheard, neglected, and undermined when it came to the real priorities of the state — be it children who were malnourished, subjected to hazardous labor, sexually abused, physically tortured and murdered; or women who continued to face violence and discrimination at home, at the workplace and in public spaces,” the report said.
“Pakistan continued to bear a dismal human rights record in terms of complying with the constitutional guarantees to its own citizens and the international obligations to which it is a state party,” it said.
The government’s own National Commission on Human Rights has been without a chairperson and six of its seven members for nearly a year.
Requests for country visits by U.N. special investigators on a number of issues are still pending. Those include extrajudicial killings and freedom of religion and the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.
By Jaffer Abbas Mirza
Referring to COVID-19 as “the Shia virus.” Denying aid to Christians and Hindus. These are only a few examples of faith-based discrimination in Pakistan.
One would expect a global crisis to unite the whole of humanity, but examples of discrimination around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic are sadly numerous. In Pakistan, even during a global pandemic, discrimination on the basis of religion continues. From referring to the virus as “the Shia virus” to requiring Christians to recite the kalima to receive aid to denying ration bags to the Hindu community in Lyari after seeing their national identity cards (CNIC) — these are only a few examples of faith-based discrimination in Pakistan, where so far more than 14,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported and over 300 deaths.
When a society is already divided along religious and ethnic lines, ingrained prejudices come into play during times of trouble. Religious discrimination is not new to Pakistan, but it is saddening to see that even during a crisis of global scale, marginalized religious groups continue to be discriminated against. Instead of focusing all their efforts on fighting this virus as a nation, some in Pakistan continue to exhibit their hatred for religious minorities on social media. For example, on April 13 two anti-minority hashtags were top trends on Pakistani Twitter. The first one, #ردِ_قادیانیت_ایمانی_فریضہ (meaning “religious obligation to reject Ahmadiyya belief”), targeted the Ahmadiyya community and called their faith “heretic.” The second was #گستاخوں_کوپھانسی_دو (hang blasphemers), which particularly demanded the hanging of Shia singer Zamin Ali. He had written a devotional poem in which he criticized the enemies of Ali ibn Abi Talib, whom Shia Muslims view as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad.
The point of this article is not to establish here that these discriminatory events are occurring widely and frequently, nor to say that there are not any positive cases of interfaith relations. The foremost purpose is to acknowledge these incidents, so the grievances and traumatic experiences of Pakistan’s religious minorities do not go unheard. More importantly, the purpose is to show that even during the outbreak, some are unable to control their inner prejudice against the religious “other.”
“It’s not for Hindus”
On March 28 in Lyari, one of Karachi’s densely populated areas located in the south of the city, members of the Hindu community were denied ration bags. Saylani Welfare Trust (SWT), one of the leading welfare organizations, had installed a camp in Lyari. Vishal Anand, founder and chairman of the Hindu Youth Council, related to The Diplomat: “When they saw our CNIC [identity cards], they refused to give the ration bags, saying it’s not for Hindus.”
SWT did not respond to a request for comment. However, one of their representatives was seen on social media outrightly denying the such an incident event and saying it is not the organization’s policy to discriminate people based on their religion.
Knowing SWT’s work, it is true they do not discriminate; the group offers food to thousands of people of mixed faiths. But the issue here is not an organizational policy per se; people on the ground could have acted completely opposite to the organization’s vision and ideology.
Cecil Shane Chaudhry, executive director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), said that “even though Saylani Welfare Trust denied this happening but it was verified from other sources that the volunteers giving out the aid can have such a mindset and tend to make such discriminations.”
Instead of calling an inquiry or sympathizing with the oppressed minority, Saylani decided to counter complaints in different ways. A Hindu activist, on the condition of anonymity, told The Diplomat that “someone from the Saylani contacted me and asked me to put a post on social media in Saylani’s favor.” This may explain why videos from some members of the Hindu community in favor of the organisation started appearing. Also, the next day after the incident, SWT distributed ration bags among the Hindu community and made videos, which were uploaded on social media later.
There is one important point to make here. One Indian news agency reported that Hindus were denied food rations in Rehri Ghoth. This news was refuted by another reporter; similarly, people I spoke to for this report are also unaware of the incident. The Lyari incident is separate and should not be confused with reports from Rehri Ghoth.
Embrace Islam to Receive Aid
In another incident involving the same organization, Christians were denied food rations. A video circulating on Facebook shows a Muslim man, named Adnan, informing a news reporter that Christians have been barred from receiving food in Karachi’s Korangi area. According to a report, a cleric named Abid Qadri, who ostensibly heads SWT’s operation in Korangi, instructed workers to give rations to Muslims only. In another video, a Christian woman confirmed that an organization, which she didn’t name, refused to give food to Christians until they recite the kalima, a declaration of Islamic faith.
Chaudhry confirmed that “there have been reports of such incidents taking place where minorities, specifically Christians and Hindus, are facing discrimination. At most places where relief is being provided by private foundations and trusts or religious welfare organizations, they often do not give relief to non-Muslims, stating that this fund is from zakat [charitable donations as a religious duty in Islam] so thus only Muslims qualify for it.”
A similar incident occurred in Sandha village in Kasur district of Punjab where an estimated 100 Christian families were denied food due to their religious identity. Later, however, a Muslim man arranged to distribute food among the community.
There seems to be a pattern in which some religious figures are enforcing their prejudiced views on welfare organizations. For example, a cleric, Sheikh Abdul Haleem Hamid, instructed volunteers that the food rations were only for Muslims. Naumana Suleman, the Pakistan programs lead for Minority Rights Group International, said that “the food was organized by the local mosque through announcements to help poor people in need, but later the ration was distributed to the Muslims only.”
There are some cases that have not yet been reported on. Chaudhry apprised that in some food distributions drive in the Mian Mir area of Lahore, there were boards that discouraged non-Muslims from coming to receive the rations. “When relief was being given, there was a notice up at the camp stating that non-Muslim should refrain from coming here for aid, as this is for the Muslims.” Unfortunately, the person who reported the notice, which was later removed, was afraid to take a picture of the notice among the crowded.An important factor that helps to explain the discrimination against the religious minorities during a relief drive is the rising presence of religious hardliners or intolerant groups in philanthropic organizations like SWT, which are often religious-based but operationally pluralistic. Both in Karachi and Kasur, one common element of discrimination was the dominant role of local religious clerics who influenced volunteers and differentiated on the religious grounds.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Hazara Shias were the first victims to be directly discriminated against and targeted by the officials. On March 12, the inspector general (IG) of police in Balochistan issued a notification in which he put people belonging to the Hazara community on leave. On March 13, the Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA), a public department, issued a similar notification in which Hazaras living in Marriabad and Hazara Town, two majority areas for the Shia-majority ethinc group, were categorically asked to stay in their areas. On March 25, the chief secretary of Balochistan, the highest executive position in the province, held a press conference in which he announced that Hazara areas will be secluded from the rest of Quetta city, province’s capital. The reasoning was that Shia-majority Iran was a hotspot for COVID-19 at the time, therefore Shia-majority Hazaras must be quarantined.
I have written elsewhere about this issue, but there were some cases of discrimination that were not even reported. For example, in public institutions like the Civil Hospital and the State Bank of Pakistan, employees belonging to the Hazara community were unofficially asked not to come to the office.
Muhammad Aman, an activist and writer from the Hazara community, explained why Hazaras were singled out: simply put, it’s easy to blame them. “They are like the punching bags for the authorities, someone whom [authorities] can put the blame on when something goes wrong.” Sajjad Changezi, a prominent activist and academic from Quetta, see more than sectarian prejudice at play. He also pointed out the issue of misplaced officers, who come mostly from Punjab and have “an inherent disadvantage in understanding the cultural and political realities of Balochistan.” He wondered, “if officers are struggling to understand Balochistan, how can we expect them to understand Shia Hazara, a minority within a minority with whom they are least likely to have normal interactions?”
Hazaras were treated as if their community is solely to blame for the spread of COVID-19. Interestingly, Hazaras constituted only a tiny proportion of returnees from Iran. Besides, not every returnee from Iran, such as non-Hazara businessmen and tourists, was quarantined. Both Changezi and Aman agreed that underlying marginalization and hatred for the community played a key role against the racial profiling of the Hazaras.The racial profiling of Hazaras followed a targeted campaign against the wider Shia community. Two government ministers, Zulfikar Bukhari and Ali Zaidi, both Shias, were singled out and blamed for the spread of the virus in Pakistan. A coordinated campaign on Twitter was trending between April 1 and 2 where people such as Ahmad Ludhyanvi, chairman of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, an anti-Shia organization, were calling COVID-19 the “Shia virus.”What these continuing trends suggest that the hatred for minorities has become entrenched. Some find cursing and targeting minorities more important than contemplating the devastation Pakistan is likely to face due to the virus.
Will the Stigma Pass With the Virus?
A question needs to be answered. Will these incidents do lasting damage to aggravate the plight of these religious minority groups, such as the Hazaras, who were publicly vilified well before the crisis? One optimistic view is that the long-term effects will not be as bad as a few foresee, due to several underlying factors. For example, Changezi argued that “a big proportion of Balochistan’s Sunni ethnic groups [the Baloch and Pashtun tribes] do not subscribe to sectarian extremist ideologies in practice.”
But some have raised concerns that COVID-19 might have a lasting impact for the Hazara community. Particularly, when the situation will normalizes and Hazaras resume their work in different sectors, they may still bear the brunt of the effects of racial profiling. Aman fears that “they will be seen as aliens because everyone will think that they were the ones who brought COVID-19 to the province. The discrimination and prejudice will continue for years to come.”
BY RAMSHA JAHANGIR
On February 26, hours before Pakistan’s health authorities confirmed the country’s first coronavirus case, the patient’s photograph and personal details, including his home address, were leaked on social media.
Yahyah Jaffery eventually recovered and wrote a newspaper column about his experience. “My photo was all over social media and I became a pariah,” he said. Over the next few days, the pattern was repeated with dozens of other patients.
In the months since, medical staff infected with Covid-19 have also had their personal details published online. According to a health department spokesperson, 20 doctors have been targeted in Sindh province alone.The leaks indicate the challenges in maintaining privacy and protecting public data in an under-resourced country that has reported nearly 15,000 cases of coronavirus and at least 32 deaths since early March. Pakistan is now confirming close to 1,000 new Covid-19 cases a day; experts say the numbers reflect the small group of people being tested each day, about 8,000.To contain the spread of the virus among 220 million citizens, many of whom have access to only threadbare medical assistance, the government has looked to mass data collection and contact tracing to gather information on those infected with Covid-19.Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the government was using a tracking system originally developed by the country’s powerful security apparatus to combat terrorism. “The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has given us a great system for track and trace,” he said on a live TV telethon. “It was originally used against terrorism, but now it is has come in useful against coronavirus.”
Contact tracing has been a central plank of coronavirus strategy for governments around the world, including Italy and Germany. However, alarms have been raised in Pakistan, where a lack of transparency and digital privacy standards risks undermining how the public is protected.
While Pakistan currently has no data protection laws, the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication announced a call for consultation on a draft bill earlier this month.To lead the tracing and quarantine strategy, the government has established a new data hub at the Covid-19 national command center in Islamabad. The center will collect information from the ISI’s tracking system and share details about coronavirus cases with Pakistan’s four provincial governments, information technology institutions, and civil and military organizations. While specific details of how the tracking system functions remain unclear, the country’s national telecommunications regulator, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), has confirmed that it is assisting the government by using cell tower tracking to locate the mobile phones of infected individuals and send text messages advising them to self-isolate. According to PTA, around 560,000 at-risk people have been sent “CoronaAlert” text messages to date. In Pakistan, licensed telecom providers such as cell phone companies are required to provide customer data to government agencies for national security purposes or when directed by PTA.
The text message initiative was launched in March by the prime minister’s Digital Pakistan unit, which is led by Tania Aidrus, a former head of Google’s Next Billion Users team, which makes products with emerging markets in mind.
In an interview, Aidrus said the authorities were using “multiple data points” for contact tracing. “The aim is to expand home testing and assessment in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands people have used the various chatbots we have launched with the help of Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp to raise awareness and allow self-assessment.”
Aidrus also said the authorities are trying to find family information about Covid-19 patients by working with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), the citizen biometric data center with personal information of all 220 million Pakistani nationals.
Nadra has been subject to several major digital breaches in the past, including one incident in 2018 which saw the private data of individuals hacked and sold on Facebook and WhatsApp. Digital rights groups have called for more secure protection of the private data of Pakistani citizens. In a 2018 report on Nadra, Pakistan’s Digital Rights Foundation stated “The potential for misuse or problematic leaks here is substantial and is only exacerbated by the lack of data protection legislation in the country.”
While acknowledging the lack of data protection policies in Pakistan, Aidrus said she was “incredibly confident” about the responsible use of any public data collected during the current crisis.
However, privacy advocates warn that many countries using technology to limit the spread of Covid-19 are failing to provide adequate transparency.
“The scale and sophistication of surveillance technologies being rolled out in response to Covid-19 around the world could fundamentally threaten human rights in the future,” said Samuel Woodhams, who is tracking global Covid-19 surveillance measures for the website Top10VPN. “Health authorities and governments should ensure they implement these initiatives with transparency, adequate sunset clauses and provide scope for public and political scrutiny. In countries that do not have well-defined personal privacy and human rights legislation, these concerns are considerably more acute.”
خیبر پختونخوا کے سب سے بڑے ہسپتال لیڈی ریڈنگ میں کرونا وائرس کے نتیجے میں 60 سے زائد اموات واقع ہونے کے بعد اس ہسپتال کی شرح اموات باقی ہسپتالوں کی نسبت بلند ترین سطح پر پہنچ گئی ہے۔ جب کہ اس ہسپتال میں طبی عملے کے 7 افراد خود بھی اس وائرس کا شکار ہو گئے ہیں۔
دوسری جانب ایل آر ایچ (لیڈی ریدنگ ہسپتال ) کے بعض ڈاکٹر شکایت کرتے آرہے ہیں کہ انہیں حفاظتی کٹس نہیں دی جا رہی ہیں حالانکہ ان کے مطابق انہیں روزانہ مریضوں کا معائنہ اس حال میں کرنا پڑ رہا ہے کہ انہیں مریض کے پازیٹیو یا نیگیٹیو ہونے کا کوئی علم نہیں ہوتا۔
لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال کے ڈائریکٹر خالد مسعود کے مطابق، 18 مارچ سے لے کر اب تک ان کے ہسپتال میں مرنے والوں کی تعداد 60 سے تجاوز کر گئی ہے۔ جن میں تین مریض کل ایک رات میں ہی چل بسے ہیں۔
صرف پچھلے ہفتے جب یہ تعداد 30 سے زیادہ ہو گئی تھی تو اس کو بلند ترین شرح قرار دیتے ہوئے اس کی وجوہات سے متعلق ہر طرف سوالات اٹھنے لگے۔ جن کے نتیجے میں بعض مقامی اخباروں کے مطابق ایل آر ایچ کےمیڈیکل ڈائریکٹر نے ڈین سمیت ہسپتال کے دیگر مختلف شعبوں کے سربراہان سے وضاحت طلب کرکے رپورٹ بنانے کی تجویز دی تاکہ وجوہات کا تعین کیا جا سکے۔
یہی وجوہات جاننے کے لیے اور ایل آر ایچ کے ناراض ڈاکٹروں کی شکایات کے حوالے سے جب انڈپینڈنٹ اردو نے لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال کے ڈائریکٹر خالد مسعود سےرابطہ کیا تو انہوں نے کہا کہ 'ڈیڑھ مہینے پہلے جب یہ وبا پاکستان میں داخل ہوئی تو ایل آر ایچ کی صوبائی حکومت کے ساتھ تفصیلی بات چیت ہوئی ۔
ایل آر ایچ نے باہمی مفاہمت کے نتیجے میں صوبے بھر سے صرف ان مریضوں کو ایڈمٹ کرنے کا ذمہ لیا جنہیں آئی سی یو اور ایچ ڈی یو کی ضرورت ہوگی۔ (آئی سی یو یعنی انٹینیو کئیر یونٹ اور ایچ ڈی یو کا مطلب ہائی ڈیپینڈنسی یونٹ ہے۔ دونوں قسم کے مریضوں کو آکسیجن کی ضرورت پڑتی ہے۔)
اب اموات کی وجہ یہ ہے کہ ہمارے پاس دور دراز سے ایسی ایمبولینس میں مریض لائے جاتے ہیں جس میں آکسیجن وغیرہ کی سہولت نہیں ہوتی۔ دو، تین گھنٹے ان کے پشاور پہنچنے میں ضائع ہو جاتے ہیں اور ایل آر ایچ پہنچ کر وہ دم توڑ دیتے ہیں۔ اس طرح یہ کیس لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال کے کھاتے میں درج ہوجاتا ہے۔‘
ڈائریکٹر ایل آر ایچ نے بات جاری رکھتے ہوئے کہا کہ حیات اباد میڈیکل کمپلکس (ایچ ایم سی) اور خیبر ٹیچنگ ہسپتال (کے ٹی ایچ) میں بھی سیریس مریضوں کو داخل کیا جانے لگا ہے۔ تاہم وہ صرف اپنے آس پاس کے علاقے کے مریضوں کو ہی لیتے ہیں۔ جب کہ ایل آر ایچ اس بات کا پابند ہے کہ وہ تمام صوبے سے سیریس مریضوں کو داخلہ دےگا۔
خالد مسعود نے بتایا کہ ایل آر ایچ میں مرنے والوں میں سے زیادہ لوگوں کی عمریں 50 یا اس سے زائد تھیں۔ اور جن کو پہلے سے ہی مختلف قسم کی بیماریوں نے جکڑا ہوا تھا۔
'شروع میں 10 سے 12 اموات تین سے چار ہفتوں میں ہورہی تھیں۔ پچھلے ہفتے کے آخر تک یہ تعداد 40 سے بڑھ گئی ۔ اور اس ہفتے میں یہ تعداد 60 سے زائد ہوگئی ہے۔ صرف آج میرے پاس 47 مریضوں کے ایڈمشن ہوئے ہیں۔ خود ہمارے اپنے 7 ڈاکٹر اور پیرامیڈیکس کے ٹیسٹ پازیٹیو آگئے ہیں۔‘
اس نکتے پر ہم نے فوراً مسعود صاحب سے سوال کیا کہ کہیں اس کی وجہ یہ تو نہیں ہے کہ ان کے بعض ڈاکٹر حضرات کے مطابق انہیں حفاظتی کٹس نہیں دی جا رہی ہیں؟
جواب میں انہوں نے کہا کہ ان کا ہسپتال اس وقت ان تمام جگہوں پر ماسکس اور کٹس پہنچا رہا ہے جہاں اس کی ضرورت ہے۔
’اب دیکھیں ناں ، این 95 ماسک تو ہر کوئی مانگ رہا ہے۔ لیکن میرے ہسپتال کے اصولوں کے مطابق مجھے حفاظتی سازو سامان صرف آئی سی یو، ایچ ڈی یو اور ایمرجنسی پہنچانا ہے۔کیونکہ یہ وہ جگہیں ہیں جہاں ڈاکٹروں کا کرونا کے مریضوں کے ساتھ براہ راست رابطہ رہتا ہے۔ باقی ہسپتال والوں کو عام دستانے اور ماسک پہننے ہوں گے۔‘
ڈائریکٹر ایل آر ایچ کے اس جواب پر انڈپینڈنٹ اردو نے ان سے دوبارہ پوچھا کہ ایل آر ایچ کے ایمرجنسی میں ڈیوٹی دینے والے ایک دو ڈاکٹروں نے بھی حفاظتی کٹس نہ ملنے کی شکایت کی ہے۔ ان کا کہنا ہے کہ پچھلے ڈیڑھ مہینے سے وہ خود ہی پی پی ایز خریدتے آرہے ہیں۔ اور اب تک ان کا ہزاروں میں خرچہ ہوا ہے۔ جب کہ ان کی تنخواہ بھی ان کے مطابق اتنی نہیں ہے۔
‘ان سے پوچھیں کہ انہیں کتنے دن پی پی ای نہیں ملے؟ اس طرح تو کئی الزامات لگائے جا سکتے ہیں۔ مجھےآپ ان ڈاکٹروں کے نام بتائیں میں وعدہ کرتاہوں کہ ان کے ایمرجنسی میں ڈیوٹی کے اوقات کار سمیت یہ بھی پتہ کروا کے دے دوں گا کہ انہیں کب اور کیوں حفاظتی کٹس نہیں ملے۔ہم سے آج کل وہ ڈاکٹر بھی این 95 کا مطالبہ کر رہے ہیں جو ڈیوٹی پر موجود نہیں ہوتے۔لیکن ہسپتال کی ایس او پی کے مطابق ہم سب کو پی پی ای نہیں دے سکتے ۔ میں خود عام ماسک اور دستانوں میں ہسپتال میں کام کرتا ہوں۔حالانکہ میں بھی صبح شام اپنے سٹاف سے ملتا ہوں۔ ‘
ڈائریکٹر لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال خالد مسعود نے بتایا کہ اس وقت ان کے ہسپتال کے پاس ساڑھے 4 ہزار طبی عملہ ہے۔ جن میں 2 ہزار بیک اپ کے لیے رکھا ہوا ہے جب کہ باقی کام میں مصروف ہے۔لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال کے ڈائریکٹر خالد مسعود کے مطابق، 18 مارچ سے لے کر اب تک ان کے ہسپتال میں مرنے والوں کی تعداد 60 سے تجاوز کر گئی ہے۔ جن میں تین مریض کل ایک رات میں ہی چل بسے ہیں۔
حفاظتی کٹس کم تو نہیں پڑ گئی ہیں، اس سوال کے جواب میں انہوں نے کہا کہ جیسے جیسے کیسز میں اضافہ ہوتا جارہا ہے انہیں پی پی ایز کی ضرورت بھی اس حساب سے زیادہ پڑنے لگی ہے۔
'لیکن فی الحال کوئی ایسا مسئلہ نہیں ہے۔حکومت ، این ڈی ایم اے اور پی ڈی ایم اے سب حتی الامکان کوشش کر رہے ہیں کہ خیبر پختونخوا کی ضرورت کو پورا کیا جا سکے۔اس کے علاوہ چائنہ سے مزید کئی ٹن کٹس پاکستان پہنچ گئی ہیں۔ جو ہمیں بھی بذریعہ ٹی سی ایس پہنچا دی جائیں گی۔'
اس وقت لیڈی ریڈنگ ہسپتال میں ایک شفٹ میں 102 لوگ طبی خدمات انجام دے رہے ہیں ۔جن کو روزانہ 306 پی پی ایز دیے جارہے ہیں۔ اصول یہ ہے کہ اگر ایک ڈاکٹر کو حکومت کی جانب سے ایک این 95 ماسک مل رہاہے اور وہ دوسرا چاہتا ہے تو اس کا خرچہ وہ خود اٹھائے گا۔‘
صوبے کے سب سے بڑے ہسپتال ایل آر ایچ کے ڈائریکٹر نے کرونا وائرس سے متاثرہ افراد اور شرح اموات میں اضافے کی ایک وجہ عوام کی غیر سنجیدگی بھی بتائی۔ انہوں نے عوام کے نام ایک پیغام میں بتایا کہ اگر عوام چاہتی ہے کہ ملک سے کرونا وائرس کا مکمل صفایا ہو توصرف 18 دن گھر سے ایک منٹ کے لیے بھی نہ نکلیں۔ کسی کے افطار ڈنر، شادی یا ماتم پر نہ جائیں ۔کیونکہ ناراض ہوجانے والوں کو بعد میں منانا آسان ہے۔ لیکن اگر ایک دفعہ کرونا وائرس کا شکار ہوئے تو جان لیا جائے کہ یہ وائرس لاعلاج ہے۔جب کہ ہسپتالوں کے انتہائی نگہداشت یونٹوں اور وارڈز میں جگہ بھی ختم ہورہی ہے۔
Sajid Hussain left Pakistan in 2012 and had been living in Sweden since 2017. He was the editor-in-chief of news website Balochistan Times.
Exiled Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain, who had been missing since 2 March, has been found dead in Sweden’s Uppsala. The body of Hussain, the editor-in-chief of news website Balochistan Times, was found from a river in the Swedish city of Uppsala. The 30-year-old journalist, who was from Balochistan, had left Pakistan in 2012 and been living in Sweden since 2017.“The Swedish police informed his family last night (Thursday) that they had discovered his body from a river in Uppsala,” read a statement released by the Balochistan Times.
According to Reporters Without Borders, a group campaigning for press freedom, Hussain was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm to Uppsala on 2 March. A case of disappearance was subsequently filed with the police on 3 March.
Forced into exile
Hussain was forced to flee Pakistan in 2012 after he wrote about “forced disappearances” and exposed a drug kingpin in the country’s Balochistan region.Balochistan in West Pakistan has been the site of a nationalist insurgency. The Pakistani military has been accused of torturing people and “disappearing” dissidents.Speaking to Pakistani newspaper Dawn earlier, Hussain’s wife Shehnaz had said the journalist decided to go into a self-imposed exile after he sensed that he was being followed.“…some people broke into his house in Quetta when he was out investigating a story. They took away his laptop and other papers too. After that he left Pakistan in September 2012 and never came back,” she had said.Hussain sought exile in Oman, UAE and Uganda before finally moving to Sweden. He founded the Balochistan Times in 2015, to report about the “region’s untold and forbidden stories”.
According to a report in The Economic Times, Pakistani spy agency ISI was suspected to be behind Hussain’s disappearance.